FEBRUARY 2021 NEWSLETTER

OPLC’s State Budget Priorities

Poor and minority Ohioans have been hardest hit by the pandemic and their health and economic recovery will take the longest. Ohio’s budget and policies should prioritize stabilizing individuals and families, providing quality education to all children, and supporting employment opportunities. Some of our budget priorities include:

  • Improving access to health care by ensuring that all Ohioans can find and afford the health care they need including the one in four Ohioans who has access to care through Medicaid.
  • Supporting the poorest Ohioans by allocating available Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) dollars to directly benefit needy families in the Prevention, Retention, and Contingency program and increasing the basic cash grant to better support the health and safety of children and families.
  • Reducing lead poisoning by expanding testing and increasing funding for lead abatement.
  • Expanding access to broadband service by investing in infrastructure and programs to make access affordable.
  • Funding schools equitably by increasing Categorical Aid for children living in poverty, more accurately and fairly defining the local contribution to the base cost, and removing the expense for open enrollment, community schools, and vouchers from local school districts and making it part of the state budget.

This week, Governor Mike DeWine will unveil his proposed budget for state fiscal years 2022 and 2023. We look forward to working with the Administration and the General Assembly to ensure that the budget supports low-income Ohioans.

New Report Highlights Improvements to Ohio’s Medicaid Managed Care Program

OPLC released its report, Brighter Future for Ohio’s Medicaid Managed Care Program, on Monday, January 25. The report highlights systemic problems with Ohio’s current Medicaid managed care program and examines provisions of the new proposed Medicaid managed care contract that should improve access services.   The Ohio Department of Medicaid is expected to award new managed care contracts as soon as this week. If fully implemented and funded, the contract provisions will:

  • Strengthen the grievance and appeals process,
  • Improve care coordination,
  • Place a greater focus on services for children, particularly for those with complex health needs, and
  • Require investments in communities to address social determinants of health.

 The new contracts will not go into effect until January 2022. OPLC will monitor implementation and will continue to advocate to ensure that Ohio’s Medicaid managed care program better serves the needs of low-income Ohioans.